LEFT: An electronic board advising the public of the impending road closure at Mardyke Street, Athlone. RIGHT: A design image of what the finished streetscape is expected to look like.

Five-month road closure as Athlone street revamp begins

A five-month road closure at Mardyke Street in Athlone will start from Monday next (March 20), as work gets underway on the latest multi-million euro streetscape revamp in the centre of the town.

The closure will be in place from the turn onto Mardyke Street at Carey's pub to Custom Cuts at the Sweeny in order to facilitate the start of site works on the redevelopment of Mardyke Street and part of Sean Costello Street.

Electronic notice boards advising of the road closure were put in place in recent days, with the closure set to last until Friday, August 28.

For the full duration of the closure, "vehicular traffic looking to join the orange loop will be diverted west along Sean Costello Street," according to Blathnaid Cox, Senior Executive Engineer with Westmeath County Council.

She said pedestrian access to Mardyke Street would be maintained, and local access, for deliveries and services, would be facilitated. The streetscape work as a whole is set to continue until March 2024, and will include an overhaul of the junction at Pump Lane and the pedestrianisation of a section of Sean Costello Street, between Flannery's pub and Mardyke Street.

Ms Cox said the work starting on Mardyke Street next week represented the first phase of the project.

"There will be further traffic impacts at each phase, but the intention is to conclude the Mardyke Street phase before we move onto Sean Costello Street," she said.

In January, the Kildare-based civil engineering and building firm John Cradock Ltd was appointed as the contractor for the project, having previously completed the €4m redevelopment of Church Street in Athlone in 2018.

Ms Cox said she and a representative of the contractor had called to businesses on Mardyke Street to advise them of the road closure.

"We are grateful for everybody's patience and understanding, and we will communicate updates through our website and social media channels as the project progresses," she said.

In 2021, a funding allocation of €4.13 million was awarded for the project through the Government's Urban Regeneration and Development Fund.

The council said the design of the work would "seamlessly integrate with the enhancement scheme delivered along Church St, extending the natural stone surface treatments, street furniture and public lighting improvements along Mardyke St and Pump Lane".

In addition, it said, the pedestrianisation of a section of Sean Costello Street would "create an open and inviting link between the retail areas within the town centre of Athlone".